New Election Law 2021 - HB574 Summary

KY House Bill 574, 2021

Summary points of Election Integrity Improvements

Consult the bill text for full and exact language (HB 574)– this is an inexact summary.

Administrative Regulations will be written from this bill before 2022 elections.

1)      Voter Roll Cleanup

  1. Automatic Removal – if the state receives government entity notice (like DMV) that a voter moved out of state, their name is deleted from the voter rolls. (Page 10)

2)      Absentee Ballot Integrity

  1. Absentee Ballot “harvesting” prohibited – only a voter, their family, their caregivers, or government officials can handle a paper absentee ballot.  They cannot be collected or delivered by 3rd party “ballot harvesters”. (Page 12)
  2. ID Required for Absentee Ballot – most requests will be through a secure portal with the State Board of Elections, and will require validation of identity before a ballot is mailed individually.  (No mass-mailings of absentee ballots, and only those with a legally valid health, military, or other excuse can vote absentee – back to pre-2020 rules) (Page 26)
  3. Absentee ballot signature “Curing” must be complete before election day – additional absentee ballot safeguard procedures added also (page 46)
  4. Drop-boxes for absentee ballots must be secure – also no electioneering within 100 feet of a drop box (page 38-9)
  5. Address specification for homeless voters (page 148)

3)      Polling Locations rule changes

  1. Multi-precinct voting sites – Counties have the option of combining multiple precincts into a larger voting site, which is easier for many county clerks to manage and staff.   (Page 24)
  2. Early In-person Voting Thursday, Friday and Saturday – at a designated location in each county.  This feature has been very popular with the County Clerks, as well as voters in both parties, and it reduces the need for absentee ballots.  While the potential for abuse exists, it may increase the security and professionalism at the polls, since there will be more “eyes” on the process and less pressure from lines and crowding to rush the process on election day. (page 29)
  3. Pollworkers do not have to be major Party members – the major political parties get the opportunity to select and appoint equal numbers of pollworkers at each poll, but failing that, the County clerk can appoint non-party members to serve, subject to approval of names by the local Board of Elections.
  4. Votes must be tabulated at the precinct level on election day – (page 55)

4)      Audit Process Improvements

  1. Paper Ballots – any new voting equipment purchased must use durable paper ballots, marked by hand, or durable paper marked by machine and verified by the voter (required for ADA access.)  (page 54) [AFEIKY recommends that all voters request a hand-marked paper ballot whenever possible, vs a machine-marked paper ballot]
  2. Multi-voting detection – attempts to vote more than once must be prevented (page 37)
  3. Audit Logs – any new electronic components of the voting system must produce a real-time, paper audit log that is available for inspection under the Open Records act, and for recounts. (page 55)
  4. Risk-Limiting Audits (RLAs) permitted – (page 81)
  5. Automatic Recount for elections closer than 0.5% margin – state pays for automatic recount, with bipartisan observers present (page 155)
  6. Candidates can petition for Recounts – at their expense, if over 0.5% margin (page 136)

5)      Other Legal Changes

  1. Only the Legislature can alter election law (page 141)
  2. No tax dollars can be used to advocate for or against any ballot issue (page 143)

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  • John Hodgson
    published this page in Training Modules 2021-10-14 14:31:07 -0400